TEHRAN (defapress)- US President Donald Trump announced that he is “absolutely” willing to talk on the phone to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un if Tuesday's North-South meeting yields positive results.
News ID: 67957
Publish Date: 07January 2018 - 13:05
Trump, who has shown nothing but contempt for his North Korean counterpart, spoke to the media at Camp David Saturday, once again claiming credit for facilitating the impending intra-Korean dialogue, World News reported.
"He [South Korean President Moon Jae-in] actually thanked me," Trump said recalling a recent conversation with the South Korean President.
"He said, and a lot of people have said, and a lot of people have written, that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance... And it is not just the stance, this is, this is what has to be done if it has to be done, that they wouldn't be talking about Olympics, they would not be talking right now," Trump added.
He suggested that he’d be willing to speak directly with Kim if certain conditions were met.
“Sure, I always believe in talking,” the US President said, adding that Kim "knows I’m not messing around, not even a little bit.” The specific preconditions, however, were not expanded on.
“If something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity, that would be a great thing for the world,” he stressed.
North Korea has accepted Seoul's offer to hold talks next Tuesday to discuss Pyongyang's participation in the Winter Olympics and other matters of mutual interest, as a hotline communication channel between the two administrations was reopened days ago.
North Korean leader had ordered to reopen contact channel between Pyongyang and Seoul to discuss issues related to the upcoming Olympic games in PyeongChang. Seoul had proposed, in turn, holding high-level talks on January 9 in Panmunjom Village in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.
South Korea had sounded optimistic about the potential for talks between North Korea and the United States in 2018, despite the tense situation over the Pyongyang nuclear program.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also signaled that the US President was ready to negotiate without demanding North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs.
He announced that Washington is ready to begin exploratory talks with North Korea “without preconditions”, but only after a “period of quiet” without new nuclear or missile tests.
“We are ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. We are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions. Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said.
“And then we can begin to lay out a roadmap... It’s not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program. They have too much invested in it," he added.
However, the top diplomat then laid down one condition and stressed that there should be a “period of quiet” in which such preliminary talks could take place, as he portrayed it as a practical consideration.
“It’s going to be tough to talk if in the middle of our talks you decide to test another device,” he said, adding that “We need a period of quiet.”
Tillerson’s comments came as leader Kim Jong-un vowed to make North Korea the “world’s strongest nuclear power”.
But, North Korea snubbed Tillerson’s proposal for dialogue with Washington, stating that it will not give up its nuclear weapons programme and stressing that the final aim of any such initiative would be for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
A commentary piece published on North Korea’s state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Pyongyang was aware of Washington’s intention in proposing talks, and it was not an issue whether such initiative would come with or without preconditions.
Commenting on the fact, Rodong Sinmun underscored what the US seeks in proposing talks with or without preconditions is the nuclear dismantlement of the DPRK and there is nothing changed.
The DPRK has no interest in the dialogue intermittently put up by the US which is sneered by the international community for failing to mind its internal affairs, the commentary added, noting that as the DPRK has consistently insisted, the way to solve the issue between the DPRK and the US is for the US to drop at an early date its heinous hostile policy, which defines the DPRK as an enemy, and co-exist peacefully with the DPRK possessed of nukes.
Rodong Sinmun said the White House was pursuing a duplicitous policy in dealing with the country’s weapons program.
“Saying our nation is to be ‘utterly destroyed’ on the one hand, whilst saying ‘talk without precondition’ on the other hand is the Trump administration’s execution of the maximum pressure and interruption policy aimed at leading the North to the table for denuclearization,” the newspaper added.
The newspaper noted that as long as the US hostile policy and nuclear threat toward the DPRK are not fundamentally removed, the DPRK will never put its nukes and ballistic missiles on the table of negotiations nor flinch even an inch from the already chosen road of bolstering up the nuclear force. This is the fixed stand of the DPRK.
“The US is trying to shift responsibility for tensions on the Korean Peninsula to us with its dialogue offensive,” the Rodong Sinmun piece continued, as quoted by South Korea’s state news agency Yonhap.
“The move is seen as being intended to set the tone for manipulating new UN Security Council resolutions that may include a maritime blockade if we do not accept dialogue aimed at discussing the abandonment of our nuclear weapons,” it stressed.
North Korea has recently stressed that it will continue enhancing its nuclear defensive potential and the United States should put up with the idea that Pyongyang won’t give up these weapons.
"We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at eradicating the US nuclear threats and establishing the balance of force with it," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), adding that Pyongyang is developing its nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty and people’s lives against "the blackmail of American imperialists."
"The US should not forget that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the US mainland. If the US wants to live in safety, it needs to stop its hostile policy against the DPRK. It should also give up dreams that we will abandon our nuclear weapons," it stressed.
Tensions have been building on the peninsula following a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang as well as threats of war and personal insults traded between Trump and Kim.
Trump and Kim have also exchanged a series of personal insults, with Trump calling Kim a "little rocket man" and "mad man" and Pyongyang calling the US President a "mentally deranged dotard" and "old lunatic".
In 2017, North Korea carried out 20 ballistic missile launches, while the United States and its allies, for their part, are constantly conducting far-reaching sea drills in the region. The parties are exchanging tough rhetoric and admit that any scenario - including military action - is possible.
North Korean officials have time and again accused their American counterparts of seeking regime change in their country. Pyongyang has firmly defended its military program as a deterrent against the hostile policies of the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.